Disism was conceived by Charles Rice Goff III and Killr "Mark" Kaswan in 1985. For the six years previous to that time, Goff had been primarily focusing his sonic artistry with Steve Schaer in a project called “–Ing”. Kaswan had joined with Goff in several avant garde improvisational sessions during that time, however. In early 1985, -Ing lost its momentum, and Kaswan had just returned to the USA from a long stay in Barcelona, providing the perfect opportunity for the Disism seed to germinate.
The first projects that Disism dived into were driven by a tape loop system similar to the “Frippertronics” system made popular by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno in the 1970’s. Whereas -Ing had written performance pieces for guitar and synthesizer which incorporated such a tape loop system, Disism took this idea further by creating performance pieces which not only incorporated musical instruments, but which incorporated prerecorded tapes as well. Goff and Kaswan spent a lot of time creating these tapes and figuring out how to arrange their contents to play in time with the tape loop system.
Because Goff and Kaswan had had a great deal of experience improvising sounds with one another before their Disism adventures began, improvisation was also an important element in Disism’s approach to composition and was incorporated to varying degrees in all of their early works.
This archive contains all the pieces from the first Disism cassette, entitled: "DISISM," released by Taped Rugs Productions in 1986. Taped Rugs made a deliberate effort to expose this tape to a worldwide audience through the home recording networks which had begun to thrive at that time. Copies were not only sold and traded through the mail, but several record stores in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco stocked the first Disism tape for retail sales. Consequently, broadcasters in several countries took notice of Disism and Taped Rugs Productions at this time as well. One piece from this first Disism tape: “2 X 2," was also accepted by Hal McGee’s “Cause And Effect” label to appear on a compilation cassette release called “Mirage" in 1986.
2 What You Call Jesus Christ
3 Love & Hate
4 God Bless America
5 2 + 2
6 Let’s Take A Ride In The Automobile
8 2 x 2
9 Trick Or Treat
10 Damn Good Jam
11 Near A Wall Under A Table
13 Just East Of Oz
14 Prunefeet Forming
Also included in this archive is an AVI file of a video of Disism performing the opening piece from this cassette: “Freeway.” The video was shot and edited by Steve Schaer (of –Ing) and John Ayres (of IAO Core) at the California Academy Of Arts And Crafts in Oakland, California in 1986.
And also included in this archive is are PDF copies of the original sheet music for "Freeway" and "What You Call Jesus Christ."